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Exclusive First Look: How This Retail Center Will Transform Oakland

The Ridge in Oakland is poised to bring a new shopping experience for the surrounding neighborhoods, and the folks at Terramar are giving us a first look at the most recent renderings. Bisnow spoke with Terramar SVP Michael Keener about the 300k SF project, which went through an approval process that took more than five years.

Exclusive First Look: How This Retail Center Will Transform Oakland

The redevelopment of the former Rockridge Shopping Center is being completed in two phases, with Phase 1 underway and on schedule to be complete by fall 2016. Phase 2, on which Terramar is still ironing out details, should be complete by Q3 2017. Michael tells us The Ridge is a "real game changer for this market."

That's Michael on the far left with fellow panelists Barry Bourbon, Garrick Brown, Scott Bohrer and Patrick McGaughey, who all spoke at ULI on an East Bay Retail Renaissance last month.

Exclusive First Look: How This Retail Center Will Transform Oakland

The site always has been highly productive for the retailers located there, but it sits in an underserved retail market, Michael tells us, creating a lot of opportunities.

Phase 1—a 116k SF traditional supermarket-anchored neighborhood center—will include a new 72k SF home for the Safeway currently on-site. The Safeway will hold its grand opening in July. The new center will remain home to other current tenants, including Pet Food Express, Bank of America and Chase bank. Boston Market plans to introduce a new concept for the casual dining chain there, Michael says.

Terramar is reviewing multiple interested tenants for the remaining handful of spaces to pick the right mix.

Exclusive First Look: How This Retail Center Will Transform Oakland

Where the real game changing comes in is with Phase 2, Michael tells us. That part of The Ridge will bring in a higher density urban retail concept, which fits nicely with the surrounding strong neighborhood retail markets.

That part of the project is still being evaluated for the right tenant mix, he says. Phase 2 will focus on two-story buildings fronting a Main Street corridor (shown above), creating new opportunities, such as full-service, sit-down signature restaurants on the upper level with views of the Bay.

Oakland is on the upswing, with dynamics in the Bay Area creating opportunities in Oakland that "didn't quite materialize in prior cycles," Michael tells us.